Analyst: Samsung to shake up LCD & AMOLED businesses

Samsung’s upcoming LCD display making offshoot Samsung Display Co. may just be the first step in a broader strategy to grab LG’s top panel-maker spot and maintain a lead in global active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panel shipments. According to IHS, the Korean manufacturer would stand to gain ground by merging the new company with Samsung Mobile Display Co. Ltd, which specializes in both AMOLED and LCD display technologies.

Analyst: Samsung to shake up LCD & AMOLED businesses

The nascent AMOLED sector is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, said Sweta Dash, IHS senior director for liquid crystal displays.

“A merger would allow the new company to combine its OLED expertise with internal prodigious experience and market influence in the LCD segment,” Dash said. “Because of its myriad advantages, OLED represents the future of display technology, representing a huge growth opportunity in the coming years.”

Samsung currently enjoys a massive lead over LG, with 85 percent of global AMOLED panel shipments bearing the company’s name. LG holds the remaining 15 percent share. So far, the bulk of AMOLED panel shipments have been relegated to smartphones. Sony’s handheld gaming system the PS Vita also boasts an AMOLED display.

The two CE giants will square off later this year when they both release 55-inch AMOLED TV sets. However, the technology’s impact in living rooms may be negligible — at first, anyway.

AMOLED’s dazzling picture quality and better power consumption rates require sky-high manufacturing costs that likely won’t fall for a few years, IHS noted. In other words, early adopters should prepare themselves for the worst.

Neither Samsung nor LG has been brave enough to come forward with a price tag just yet, though the market researcher speculated last month that AMOLED sets could top $8,000.

In December, Samsung bought out Sony’s shares in the joint LCD TV company, S-LCD. The latter offloaded its stock after seeing consistently meager LCD TV sales.